Real Housewives of Atlanta star Marlo Hampton is talking about an incident that happened last weekend with her, co-star NeNe Leakes and talk show host, Wendy Williams as the three were alleged racially profiled while shopping in a New York City luxe department store. Hampton now suggests that Bergdorf Goodman should have its employees go through mandatory diversity training.
Williams revealed on her daytime talk show on Monday (March 2) that as the three walked through a Bergdorf Goodman store in Midtown Manhattan, they were followed by security officers as they went to purchase items.
“They treated us like ‘the hood’ that they treat us,” she said.
However, by Wednesday, during her Hot Topics segment, Williams seemingly backtracked from her original story saying she actually left out some important details. One of those being that she was “told” they were being followed and didn’t actually see anyone doing so as the trio shopped in the store.
“Sometimes I get out here and I tell you a story and I leave off bullet points and I’m like damn I forgot to say that part,” said Williams. “I was told that we were followed by security. I was saying goodbye and one of them says, ‘You realize were being followed the whole time?’ That’s the part I left out of my story.”
In an interview with Essence, Hampton confirms that she was the one who told Williams what she believes was happening and said she noticed a man following them as they shopped. She said she first thought that the guard was “infatuated” with them or thinking “maybe this is a new security that they’re offering to where they’re like, ‘hey they need security, they’re so fabulous,’ “ she explained.
“But in all actuality it’s really sad if he really was watching us or racially profiling us, because me having my little nephews, it’s sad with them having dreadlocks and their natural hair and I just feel that -- and not just retail stores, the police, just in this world, we need people to really be better trained in diversity because my money is not black, it’s not brown, it’s not white–it’s green like theirs.”
Leakes, however, saw things differently than her friends. During an appearance on the syndicated radio show “The Breakfast Club,” she said it didn’t appear to be racial profiling to her.
“I was there, but I didn’t see it like how she saw it, I didn’t see it like how Marlo saw it” she explained. “I did see security, but I just thought security was just there, I don’t know,” she said.
In a statement to BET.com sent Tuesday, a spokesman for Dallas-based Neiman Marcus, the parent company of Bergdorf Goodman said: “Bergdorf Goodman and its parent company Neiman Marcus Group are committed to ensuring that all shoppers, guests, and employees are treated with respect and dignity in a safe and secure shopping environment. Our policies strictly prohibit profiling of any kind, and any claims will be thoroughly investigated.”
No telling on whether or not they will actually take Marlo Hampton's recommendations of instituting an indepth training on how to best service diverse customers with their internal and external teams.